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Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter Review

Editor Rating: 4/5

Outstanding

Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter

Reviewed by: Sean Masri

Last modified: Mar 2, 2021 @ 11:17 am

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Actron CP7677 Review:

Easy to use, at an affordable price, and promising so much more than your average digital multimeter, this little box of tricks also includes a built-in engine analyzer.

What does that mean for you? In addition to the usual tests you can perform with any multimeter, the Actron CP7677 can also be used for automotive-specific, on-bench troubleshooting. Examples include testing the tach or the dwell angle for points-type ignitions on older cars.

Actron has been producing quality automotive diagnostic tools and scanners since 1964. Its products are known to be simple enough for the do-it-yourself enthusiast, yet durable enough to be used by professionals.

The Actron CP7677 has a solid build quality, with a blue rubberized boot and stand, making it ideal for working in cramped areas, like engine compartments. Detailed instructions and safety features, like overload protection, make it ideal for the novice user.

Pros:

N
Includes a quick start guide and detailed downloadable instructions in English, French, and Spanish.
N
Easy-to-read, extra-large digital display.
N
A lightweight device for extra portability.

Cons:

N
There’s no auto-shutoff. If you forget to switch it off, the battery will keep draining — easily done!
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It may not be as accurate as high-end multimeters, especially on older cars where a DC voltage reading is needed.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Digital Multimeter


The market has been flooded with multimeters, many of them fake, that simply don’t do what they say on the box. To ensure you buy a good product, you should consider the factors below.

  • Auto Ranging or Manual Range: Beginners will find an auto range device easier to use. It automatically detects the type of input, current, or voltage you want to measure and self-adjusts — meaning you don’t have to.
  • Safety Features: Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like getting electrocuted when working on my car. Features like overload protection, color-coded test leads, and secure alligator clips will ensure you’re safe as you test those high amperage systems often found in automobiles.
  • Accuracy: The whole point of buying a digital diagnostic tool is the precision with which it records measurements. The more highly-rated digital multimeters offer a 0.5 percent accuracy, although integrated audible warning beeps can offer enhanced precision.
  • Build Quality and Durability: Rubber edges or casings can help protect these delicate little instruments and extend their lifespan, in what can be a hostile work environment. The ergonomics should also be considered — how easy is it to handle in tighter spaces — and is it portable?

Features and Benefits of the Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter


Often referred to as an all-in-one automotive troubleshooter for your car’s electrics, the Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter offers you plenty of bang (not literally, we hope) for your buck. But what are the extra features which make this device stand out from its competitors?

Let’s take a closer look.

Overload Protection


This is one of the few digital multimeters on the market which offers overload protection on the full range of inputs. You can safely use this electrical testing tool without the fear of experiencing a burnout when exposed to too high a voltage. After working on the car, I always find it nice to come home electric-shock free!

Ease of Use


Are your eyes getting to the stage where you struggle with smaller numbers and letters? An extra-large LCD display with huge numbers makes this the ideal tool for anybody, regardless of their age or eyesight.

Audible warning tones let you know when the multimeter is turned on or alert you in case of incorrect voltage or amperage inputs. This can help in preventing the “false zeros” you may encounter with many other, normally older, multimeters.

An audible tone will also tell you when the batteries are low, so you can swap them out mid-job before the multimeter dies on you.

Actron Tools even demonstrate on their YouTube channel how easy it can be to use a multimeter like the CP7677 multimeter.

Automatic Reverse Polarity Indicator and Auto Range


The automatic reverse polarity indicator on the Actron CP7677 can be used to verify whether the electrical components in your car have been wired correctly. I used to think it was just me attaching the multimeter incorrectly, but this tool can auto-correct that. I still may not be able to wire up a car stereo, but at least now I can tell if it has been wired in wrong before!

Another useful feature, for the less experienced automotive do-it-yourself guy is the auto range feature. The zero adjustments for amps or volts is an important feature that can help with delivering more accurate measurements — it only takes a small variance of voltage or amps to “blow” today’s more advanced, yet delicate, in-car entertainment systems.

A Handyman Essential


The Actron CP7677 can be used to test the starting and ignition systems, the charging and fuel delivery systems, and help to locate any faulty wiring in the whole car. This multimeter and engine analyzer could also be used for workbench testing of the tach, dwell, volts, amps, ohms, diodes, and continuity of any car.

You can switch between 4, 6, and 8 cylinder modes, ideal for my vintage sports car project and the wife’s runaround.

Longevity of the Actron CP7677 Multimeter and Engine analyzer


Although it may seem “cheap” compared to many similar multimeters, you still won’t need to replace it too often. The build quality is surprisingly good for the budget price. It’s certainly not a “cheap” build!

A blue rubberized case, or “boot,” protects the Actron multimeter from the occasional bumps and knocks it’s sure to receive in a garage or workshop. The stand which extends from the rear of the boot has a solid feel, and even I have yet to snap it off!

Features like the overload protection, a high impedance rating, and color-coded removable test leads, also ensure there is less chance of electrical damage to the multimeter. A one-year warranty is offered by the manufacturer, and it has been independently listed by the UL and ETL. In short, it’s a multimeter built to last!

Included Accessories


Everything you need to use the Actron CP7677 multimeter comes included in the box, except the 9-volt battery.

A quick start-up guide takes you through the initial set-up and use, but more detailed instructions are available to download in a choice of languages. I particularly like downloadable PDF files or guides, as they are easier to enlarge on your mobile device when your vision is impaired.
A blue rubberized case, or “boot,” protects the Actron multimeter from the occasional bumps and knocks it’s sure to receive in a garage or workshop. The stand which extends from the rear of the boot has a solid feel, and even I have yet to snap it off!

Features like the overload protection, a high impedance rating, and color-coded removable test leads, also ensure there is less chance of electrical damage to the multimeter. A one-year warranty is offered by the manufacturer, and it has been independently listed by the UL and ETL. In short, it’s a multimeter built to last!

Social Proof


For me, the Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter is a value-for-money offering from Bosch-Actron, which includes features normally found on much higher priced equivalents. As such this should make it one of the go-to digital multimeters when looking to purchase such a device for your car.

But, what do the users of this Actron multimeter say?

Having searched for genuine owner feedback and user reviews on the web, I found most of the views shared were quite positive. Many expressed their satisfaction with how long the Actron CP7677 has stood up to repeated use. A typical user will report 9+ years of owning the same tool, with one user even having three, one for each car, for the last 20 years!

The built-in tachometer and dwell meter were particularly useful for owners who had older cars or motorcycles which needed tuning. Although some users did report rather erratic readings when using the tach and dwell with DC voltages.

To completely understand what we’re talking about, take a look for yourself.

Alternatives to Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter


If the Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter and Engine Analyzer hasn’t sparked your interest — it may not be everybody’s preferred troubleshooter — then here are some alternatives you may wish to consider:

Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital Multimeter


At the top end of the automotive diagnostic tools market, you can find the Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital Multimeter.

That phrase “True-RMS” is the important part of this product description — it means The Fluke 115 has a higher level of accuracy and is probably the main reason this model will cost up to four times more than the Actron CP7677.

  • Unlike the Actron CP7677, the Fluke does not include any additional accessories. It is only supplied with one set of silicone test leads.
  • True-RMS means the Fluke 115 will give more accurate readings — but at a price!
  • Backed by the Fluke name and brand — a leader in the multimeter industry.

Mastech MS8229 5-in-1 Multifunctional Digital Multimeter


The Mastech Auto-Range MS8229 Multifunctional Digital Multimeter is one of the cheapest on the market, found at a similar price to the Actron multimeter we reviewed above. The main difference is the Mastech features a lux meter, a sound meter, a thermometer, and a humidity meter.

  • Five functions — lux meter, sound meter, thermometer and humidity meter. More for general use than automotive use.
  • Blue LED backlight makes it easier to read than the LCD display in poorly lit areas.
  • Relatively lightweight for a five-in-one meter, at just 13 pounds.

OTC 3980 750 Series Automotive Multimeter


Another premium multimeter, the OTC 3980 750 Series comes with a whole range of accessories included in the package. In addition to the usual test leads, the OTC also includes alligator clips, a temperature probe, an RPM pick up adapter, a black canvas case, and, most importantly, a computer connection cable and software.

  • Suitable for use with hybrid vehicles as it is CAT III certified for higher voltages.
  • Expensive.
  • It can be connected to a PC with all the relevant software included.

Conclusion


Choosing the correct digital multimeter for your car will be beneficial to both your car’s health and your bank balance.

You could test your vehicle with an ammeter, an ohmmeter, and a voltmeter — even taping all three together to make one “super tool.” Or you could buy a digital multimeter like the Actron CP7677 which combines all three for a very reasonable affordable price.

The Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter offers an easy to use device with built-in safety features and the addition of automotive-specific tests, like tach and dwell, normally only found on models costing much more.

Actron CP7677 Multimeter FAQs

Q: Can the CP7677 Multimeter be Used to Count the Tevs for a 2-Cylinder Motor?

Although the CP7677 says it is for use with 4, 6, or 8 cylinder motors, the volt meter, amp meter, and even the tachometer will work fine with 2-cylinder motors. Assuming it is a 2-cycle motor, set the dial to the 4-cylinder position and the RPM displayed will be half the actual 2-cylinder motor’s RPM. Multiply the reading by two to get the true RPM.

Q: Can the CP7677 be Used on an Electric Car?

It seems crazy, but no — at least we wouldn’t recommend it. It may be an electrical test meter, but most electric cars have extra strong and powerful batteries on board and mechanics normally have to be certified to work on them.

Q: Does Engine Analyzer Mean the CP7677 Will Read Engine Diagnostic Codes?

An easy mistake to make, but again, the answer is no. The diagnostic codes which are built in to most commercial vehicles need an ODB or ODB II interface to read them. Specialized ODB meters are easily available at affordable prices and can add to your diagnostic armory of tools.

Q: What Does the UL Certification Mean?

The CP7677 is listed as being UL certified, which is a recognition of the thorough testing a product goes through before being released to market. UL certification is issued by Underwriter Labs and is among the most accepted third party tests in North America. You can read more about the UL test and the labs here.

Q: How Much Does the Actron CP7677 Digital Multimeter Cost?

Considering all the features this device manages to pack into its reasonably-sized case, you would expect the price to be out of the reach of the do-it-yourself automotive enthusiast. But the CP7677 can often be found at an extremely affordable price — you can check the latest prices here.

Q: Does the Actron CP7677 Include a Carry Case?

A carry case would certainly be handy with all the accessories, like test leads, alligator clips, and a spare battery, that you need to carry. Unfortunately Actron has decided not to include one, although the rubberized safety boot will protect the unit from damage in most tool boxes. A pretty standardized size, an old leather pouch from your last multimeter, or a similar tool, could also be used.

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